1994 to 1996 – NACWAA's First Executive Director

After a long career in athletic administration, highlighted with 18 years at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Jane Betts took a two-year sabbatical from her position as senior associate athletic director at MIT. She then consulted with 1993-94 NACWAA President Marilyn McNeil to discuss her next move. Shortly after, and with the approval of the NACWAA Board of Directors, Jane was named the first NACWAA executive director on a volunteer basis.

Headquartered at her home in Sudbury, Massachusetts, Jane immediately began exploring ways to take the organization to the next level and prepare for the 21st century (NACWAA Newsletter Vol. 11.3). With the help of the Long Range Planning Committee, NACWAA had two top-line priorities under Jane’s direction: fundraising and programing to prepare and advance women in college athletics.

In the words of Jane: “We must make our association stronger and stronger as we move through the 90s and prepare for the 21st century. We must find new ways to increase our resources, participate in the reparation of the next generation of women athletics administrators, and continue to stand tall on all issues of gender equity” (Vol. 11.3).

During Jane’s two years as executive director, she successfully secured a sponsorship deal with State Farm, which was NACWAA’s largest sponsorship to date, as well as implemented the Institute for Administrative Advancement (IAA), which still exists today.

NACWAA Executive Director: 1994 - 1996

Jane Betts
Executive Director

Jane Betts began her career at Valparaiso University where she taught physical education courses and coached the women’s gymnastics and tennis teams. Following Valparaiso, Jane accepted a position at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1976 as the women’s gymnastics coach and director of women’s athletics. She later became the assistant athletic director for facility operations and women’s sports before being elevated to associate athletic director for finance and administration and finally the senior associate athletic director in 1992.

While at MIT, Jane served as the president of the Massachusetts Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women and the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. She was a co-founder and the first president of the New England Women’s 6 Conference, which evolved to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, which MIT is a member of today. Jane left MIT in 1994 to become the first NACWAA executive director.

Over her career, Jane served as the vice-president for the Division lll of the AIAW, on the Board of Directors for the CCWAA, and on both the NCAA Gymnastics Committee and the NCAA President’s Commission Liaison Committee.

Jane was nationally known for her work with gender equity and has been honored with the NACWAA Legacy Award, the Franklin College Alumni Athletic Achievement Award, the MAIAW Merit Award, and the Katherine Ley Award.